I Lasted Eight Days Not Painting

20191010_141612

I decided in September that instead of doing an Inktober like everyone else, I would do a Noctober which involved not painting or drawing anything. I needed a break and I knew it. But what did I really need a break from? Was it the pressure to create? Was it lack of ideas?  Well as you can see I failed miserably at trying to stop myself from painting. Turns out taking the pressure off helped me tremendously. I am always thinking too much and trying to come up with the best possible series. There is a lot of pressure to paint everyday because that is what I think is expected of me. I do see people who may or may not have busier lives than me succeed at this “painting or drawing a day” thing. Though I think it is great to be productive, I also think breaks are healthy.

This is what happened when I took a break from art. At first, I did pretty well. By Day 5, looking at a banana on the counter gave me the desire to paint its colour and shape. My day 6, I thought I am going to try drawing in ball point pen. So I made a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich and drew in my sketchbook. My mind was on the sandwich idea that has been successfully done so many times before. I thought this is okay that it has been done before. This is what I like to paint.

I watch kids after-school and my friend Leah who does the same, brought chalk so I drew a dragon for the kids to add too. I thought to myself, “This is cheating but I don’t care!” I was teaching art and painting apples with the kids. That was it! I couldn’t take it anymore! The next day I quit my Noctober! I painted a peanut butter sandwich and the following day a sliced apple. My advice is paint or take a break just be sure to do what you want!20191012_124952

KIMZ*MET

KIMZ*MET is this Friday, September 13th from 6:30 to 8:30pm at Argyle Fine Art in downtown Halifax. This is a show of works made by myself and two fellow artists’ named Kim. Kim Danio and Kim Eddy and I have been working toward this show since April 2019.
poster kimsmet

I have painted a series of dresses that connect us to the past, to family members and friends, to our passions and our personal lives. The dresses are carefully rendered with an element of fantasy as they float in front of a colourful backdrop.

Kim Eddy has made paintings inspired by her time in Bermuda and Nova Scotia. Though she is recognized mainly for her beautiful resin paintings depicting bird’s eye views of the beach, Kim decided to challenge herself with a series of hand bound books that share a little bit about her process and inspiration.  She also produced a series of acrylic paintings on paper inspired by the same theme.

Kim Danio is an artist known for re-purposing shoes and handbags into playful sculpture that is reminiscent of folk art. In a culture and era where mass consumerism is the norm, Kim takes objects that would otherwise get thrown out and turns them into art objects. It is truly priceless to witness the viewers’ reaction to her art and suddenly noticing the “shoe” or “handbag”.

I welcome everyone to attend our show this Friday and if your name is Kim, please come and say hello!

 

3 WIP Still Life Paintings

It’s the time of year when some students travel. I only have the work of three works in progress to show this time. One of my students had his last class because he is off traveling and I forgot to take the picture. I had one student leave two weeks ago with the promise of sending me the completed work sometime in the summer. There was a school dance too, which in my humble opinion is something important to attend. That student will be here this week and I can’t wait to hear if it was fun. You have to experience life to get an idea of what you actually would like to paint!

Short one this time. I am happy with the progress in each and every painting.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

It’s Summer and I Love Ice Cream

I love ice cream and I buy it year round. I have some favourites of course as everyone does. It changes over time with flavours of all sorts coming out year after year.

As a child I have fond memories of the Dickey Dee. The bell would ring and all the kids in the neighbourhood would run looking for loose change. I often bought the ghost with the bubble gum eyes. I am not convinced that my children have had as much fun during the summer months even though ice cream is still a big part of their summer fun. There are often ice cream stops after baseball so not so terrible.

I loved the little ice cream cups with original flavours such as vanilla, chocolate or strawberry sold with a wooden stick. We can still get these today at ice cream socials at the local elementary schools. I think as a kid they were cheap enough that a few return pop bottles could pay for it at the corner store.

There was also a cool shop that sold ice cream decorated with sprinkles for hair and bubble gum for facial features that opened up when I was about age 10.  To me it seems like a place you would see around in this day and age. I can’t remember if it stayed open long but it was pretty busy while it lasted. The hot summers of Ottawa made us all up for the refreshing treat. I can still remember how delicious the chocolate sprinkles tasted under the partially melted ice cream.

20190618_115923

I decided that it in this case, painting is a labour of love. They say write about what you know and love. I think the same holds true for painting. I want to paint all the flavours of ice cream I can as a labour of love. This “Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream” was an early favourite  of mine and one my eldest son calls his favourite. I think he finds the mint refreshing and he really likes chocolate.

As a baby, one of the early words of my vocabulary was “Quince” which translated to ice cream, according to my parents. I called soup “Plute” and I can honestly say that homemade soup is one of my favourite things to this day. I still like the same things. People change over time but some things never change.

As a child my grandmother would take me to “The Bay” near the Byward market in Ottawa. There was a special place in the basement that made delicious malted milkshakes. I have such fond memories of this creamy treat. When I moved to Caribou, Maine I found a place that sold them. In my 8th month during my first pregnancy, I took a rather long and painful walk to satisfy my craving for this sweet treat. Perhaps it is why my son loves ice cream so much. As a teenage boy, he often sneaks it as a snack even though I recommend healthier alternatives. Ice cream was a big part of our time in Maine. We would gather together at my sister-in-law’s home and watch episodes of Survivor and everyone would order my mother-in-law’s favourite sundae: coffee ice cream with butterscotch. I also discovered Ben and Jerry’s ice cream while in Maine. There was one flavour that knocked my socks off: Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. I think they call it Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch now but it is basically ice cream with Skor bar if you are Canadian. As I write this I realize the unending length of my blogging and that there are Skor Bar Blizzards out there which I also enjoy. Hahaha! Also, I am fortunate to tell you all that my summer vacation will include a trip to Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop in Waterbury Vermont.

So though this passion for ice cream could go on to include a story about the time I made homemade pumpkin ice cream and the time I bought my boys a toy ice cream maker; I think that is all I will share with you for now. I am hoping to make more ice cream cone paintings in the near future and I will share them here in time.

Thanks for reading! Bye for now!

Sheep Stuffy Still Life Painting (class #2)

On Thursday my very keen students started their paintings. I tell the students to draw with paint by viewing the still life as a guide. The next step is to lay in some colour that will be modified as they progress. Some students work faster and some slower. Everybody seems to already have their own signature style.

It is the time of year where people go on vacation, one of my students will not be attending the next couple of classes. She will be missed! She promised to work on it on her own and send it to me by email. I will share it here later.

I cannot wait to see the paintings progress over the next couple of weeks. This group is really working hard and they should be very proud of themselves.

Thanks for reading 🙂

DRAWINGS INTO PAINTINGS

 

Last Thursday, was the first 4 Week Still Life Painting Class. A group of six eager  “tweens” and “teens” came to my studio to learn about painting a still life.

If you are from Nova Scotia, you are probably all too familiar with the weather we are experiencing lately. People are complaining that they are experiencing the growth moss or mold on their bodies because of the amount of rain. Any sunny day, we get the added bonus of black flies. Fortunately, still life painting requires the comfort of the indoors. Best to stick with cheerful spring-like colours though, because clearly we all need it to be sunny in the studio.

The practice of drawing is always encouraged in the painting class. It is important to have a sense of how we are to lay out the composition prior to working with the paint. You can use a thumbnail sketch for that, but we do a larger drawing since we are learning about shapes and a little about value. Next week they will start laying out their still life painting by drawing with paint on the canvas.

I look forward to sharing the weekly progress of the work in the upcoming few weeks. There was a pause this week because my own kids and a couple of the students had their junior high spring band concert. It is great that they are interested in all forms of art. The concert was a wonderful time too!